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Premiere: August 20, 2021 at Noorderzon Festival Performing Arts & Society

“To live is to pass from one space to another, while doing your very best not to bump yourself.” – Georges Perec

In a dynamic crossover of dance theater, videography and live music, “ONE” shows the kaleidoscopic story of O. For this young, anonymous woman, the natural connection between her inner world and the outer world has been broken. She is in isolation and tries to relate to her environment. Until she suddenly does cross the threshold. The outside world turns out to be too overwhelming and she withdraws again.

We are inspired by stories of hikikomori, Japanese (young) persons who completely withdraw from society. Sometimes they do not leave their room for years. Against these emotional stories, we juxtapose the observational language of Georges Perec, a French writer who wrote the collection “Espèce d’espaces” in the 1970s. In this collection he forensically examines the concept we have of space.

Although physical and social isolation has become a little less strange for us due to the covid pandemic, the phenomenon of complete social withdrawal remains difficult to imagine. It is estimated that more than a million Japanese suffer from this problem, but other countries have also reported on this phenomenon in recent years. ‘ONE’ touches on this issue by examining these countless hidden lives with language, dance and visuals, starting from the perspective of the mysterious O.

“Theatre maker Veerle van Overloop is conducting a fascinating study into social isolation.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Annette Embrechts, de Volkskrant

“Kotopoulos’ tormented character has exactly the right movement pattern […] An oppressive but impressive production.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐  – Eric Nederkoorn, Dagblad van het Noorden

“One consists of three parts: a brilliant soundscape of heavy cello music as a city soundscape, a videography and a performance with desperation as the underlying emotion. This whole takes the viewer for an hour into a space that we know, but to which we never look closely. This discovery is of importance” – Kester Freriks, de Theaterkrant

Photos by Niels Knelis Meijer
Teaser by Lex Vesseur

Download presskit ONE:

Foto’s: Knelis



Concept/direction: Veerle van Overloop
Performer: Olympia Kotopoulos
Voice actress: Julia Akkermans
Cello: Rosie Taekema
Visuals: WERC – Joachim Rümke, Olav Huizer, Isabella Manea (trainee)
Scenography: WERC, Veerle van Overloop
Dramaturgy: Judith Blankenberg
Lighting design: Wil Frikken
Sound design: Veerle van Overloop, Merijn Boers, Peter Zwart
Technique: Wil Frikken
Production: Myrthe Boshart
Communication: Karlijn Vermeij

Text fragments: George Perec – Espèce d’espaces

Financially made possible by: Grand Theater, Diorapthe, BNG Cultuurfonds, Beringer Hazewinkel & Kunstraad Groningen

Special thanks to Tom, Carin, Jacquelien, Luuk, Hans, Heleen, Neeltje, Marike & Maria

PRODUCED BY ShELFISH in CO-PRODUCTION with Grand Theatre Groningen and Pianofabriek Brussels